GFM Network News


Proactive management can keep hooves in good condition.

Harden up cattle hooves to avoid foot rot

A proper mineral mix will help hooves 
withstand injury and infection

After the snow melts, it’s not unusual to hear a lot of stories about footrot on pasture, which may not ease if we continue into a wet summer. Hooves of cattle standing on wet ground or in puddles become soft and pliable, which makes them susceptible to infection. Immediate antibiotic action is effective footrot control, […] Read more



Zinc is an important mineral for many production reasons.

Zinc is a powerful trace mineral for cattle

From breeding to good feet it plays an important role

Recently, I was talking to a feed mill operator I occasionally do some beef nutritional work, and he told me many customers are requesting the best level of zinc added into their cattle mineral. We realize many pastures and harvested forage from this summer’s drought might likely be zinc-stressed, so we made sure to formulate […] Read more

A foot affected by a very large interdigital fibroma or corn.

Assess lameness problem before rushing to treatment

Animal Health: Don’t just assume a limping animal has foot rot, as several conditions may apply

During summer grazing, lameness is one of the most common ailments encountered in beef cattle. Whether it’s calves, cows, yearlings or purebred or commercial, none are immune from developing some types of lameness. Surprisingly, many cattle really don’t require much treatment, yet many are treated. Producers often use the all-encompassing term of ‘foot rot,’ yet […] Read more


Once foot rot is discovered, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Though you may find your steer is hesitant to move where you need him to go.

Stiff, sore and hurtin’ — I can relate

A foundered steer is troublesome, but elicits some extra sympathy

During my morning pen-checking rounds I came across a yearling red and white steer with a bad case of foot rot. Now there is nothing unusual about that, being that I find many cattle with this problem every day. The difference in this case, was that this particular steer was badly foundered to start with. […] Read more

Proper diet reduces risk of lame cows

A well-balanced ration and a clean barn are a great combination to keep dairy cows mobile

Recently, I conducted a barn walk in a 300-cow robot-milking dairy and within 10 minutes I spotted more than a half-dozen limping cows. I did not know what caused them to limp, but after I talked to the dairy manager, I discovered that lameness was a significant problem on his operation and several of these […] Read more


The importance of responsible use of drugs

Know the proper product for the proper treatment, if treatment is warranted

With today’s tightening controls on residues in meat and milk, we as members of the animal agriculture industry must have the utmost responsibility about how we treat our livestock in general. Proper production practices benefit our verified beef production system and with antibiotic resistance increasing producers must be prudent in the use of antibiotics and […] Read more

Keeping dairy replacement heifers or any dairy cattle clean and dry can make a huge difference in overall performance.

Mud is a hotbed of disease and poor eating habits for dairy cattle

As little as four inches of mud can slow performance and it can 
be an excellent environment for disease affecting cattle health


Once I was checking the spring ration for a dairy producer who raised a group of replacement dairy heifers in a drylot. The mud was about a half metre deep and with each step toward the feeder, it was slow going. About half-way along, my boot got stuck and by struggling, I buried it. Abandoning […] Read more


Prevention is best tool against foot rot

Anyone can start farming

Foot rot in sheep and goats is caused by a synergistic infection of two bacteria; Fusobacterium necrophorum and Dichelobacter nodosus. It causes much economic hardship, and is one of the reasons many people caution against buying animals from unknown sources, such as through an auction house. Once established on the farm, the disease is it […] Read more